'Designated Survivor' Recap: Kirkman Enters the Danger Zone
'Designated Survivor' Recap: Kirkman Enters the Danger Zone
Jilliane Johnson
Jilliane Johnson
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Designated Survivor has been on a wild ride of politics, sacrifice and moments of "how on earth is President Kirkman going to get out of this one?" Let us not forget what got us into this mess: Patrick Lloyd and the Pax Americana. We haven't heard much about the next steps in this original crisis, but rest assured it will resurface soon enough. In the meantime, the Kirkmans continue to be targeted as now Alex is named on an account opened by deceased contractor Eric Little. What will they come up with next? The Commander-In-Chief goes behind enemy lines, that's what!


We open on Air Force One as Aaron informs the President that they are 30 miles out and about to go dark. Emily is in charge at the White House while Kirkman is out on a covert mission, it seems. She calls Seth and says she wants to meet his mother. Yep, they are officially dating. One thing for sure, I did not see that hookup coming. He and his brother are in the car when, suddenly, they're pulled over by the police and Seth hides a prescription of Modafinil. 

Preventing Another Terrorist Attack

Kirkman arrives in Kabul, Afghanistan where he's welcomed to an eruption of applause by U.S. troops. "I had to get out of Washington," he says. "It's war there." No joke! Breakfast is served. Kirkman joins Harry, a soldier and recipient of two Michelin stars. Aaron soon pulls the President away to meet with Hannah who is also traveling with him and Kabul Station Chief Agent Dean who briefs the President on their mission. There are two high profile leaders in the region who they are looking to approach with peace rather than be the cause of a second coming of 9/11. 

The next morning, Kendra bails Seth out of jail for possession of 200 tabs of an illegal drug. She warns him of the legal dangers and, back at the White House, Emily benches him until everything blows over. Things end up in the air. Looks like the couple are already having their first bout and it's a pretty serious one. Way to go, Seth.

Back in Kabul, Kirkman meets with one of the men in question, attempting to extend a partnership to change the nations' relations. Mulla Bahri, or as he would rather be known Zowan Haleek, "the young one", suggests a faster method of change that involves monitoring him via technology. It can't be that easy. He leaves, and Hannah walks up but is met by Mike who stops her from handing off intel. Why the sudden cut-off? 

Seth is benched for the prescriptions and Kendra finds that Lyor has a secret wife. Not only is there an unknown marriage, but his Vegas wedding has now led to his misfiling income taxes. He has to get an annulment rather than working in the White House as a tax cheat and temporary Press Secretary. 

Now Kirkman sits with the second man in question, Mullah Fayed, who wants the US troops to leave, but the President isn't backing down so easily. He states the nation wants money and support. This meeting isn't as pleasant as the first. He's accused of not being trusted after meeting with someone who doesn't hold onto Afghanistan's history and traditions.

Keep Your Day Job, Lyor

Lyor is taking quite the different approach as Press Secretary. He hits the media with sarcasm and brutal honesty, singling individuals out for "flip flopping" by not keeping a job. Bold move. Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan, a suicide bomber has struck, and the base is running amok. Kirkman should be returning to U.S. soil, but Phoenix is not rising as Mike announces to his team. Nope, the President would rather stay and ride this out. 

No one seems to be listening to Hannah on this trip. She's attempting to give insight and advice on what moves to make and the whereabouts of Agent Dean, yet no one cares to consider she may be right. In reality, I can see how this would most definitely happen. She's not a military expert, but for the purpose of this show, one must always listen to Hannah Wells. 

Lyor introduces Emily and Kendra to his wife Julia where she is handed the annulment papers. Instead of signing them then and there, she promises to get them back at her earliest convenience. Odd, don't you think? The President calls Kendra for an update on Alex's subpoena. The account was created at the same time Alex and her mother were vacationing. He's obviously upset that he didn't see this coming, but the most important thing is how they handle things moving forward. No time to speak with Emily, he has to get back to work.

Two Heroes, One Mission

Hannah and Mike are en route to find Agent Dean, arguing about who better serves the President. Mike, all of a sudden, finds the conspiracy theory "bogus" and says he jumps in front of the President to save him from a bullet. Hannah tops him, stating her job is to keep the bullet from ever being fired. Just then an IED explodes on the road and both American heroes jump out of the jeep, armed and ready for whatever is coming their way.

Night has now fallen over Kabul and word of Hannah and Mike has reached the President. Bahri and Fayed have expressed their condolences which Kirkman dubs "crocodile tears." He now has to figure out how to entice one of them to admit his guilt in their second round of meetings.

Hannah and Mike reach their destination after overpowering enemy shooters. Written in blood, Hannah finds the numbers 1802. Agent Dean is alive and they are on his trail. Dash cam video of Seth's arrest has surfaced, but he refuses to testify. Kendra is looking to pull tricks from her sleeves to fight probable cause against a police officer's claim to a right to search Seth's vehicle. Of course, she'll figure it out, but how?

Kirkman stands before Bahri who claims Fayed is an animal who has killed many of his followers. Bahri provides interesting insight into a business Mullah Fayed owns, though. He says that his opponent manufactures the chemical necessary to create the bombs. Fayed denies these claims that they were made for bombs. Yes, he manufactures the chemical, but for medical purposes. He stands toe-to-toe with Kirkman, saying he had high hopes for their meeting, yet he is met with the same enemy he has always had, one who calls him a liar. Which man should be taken seriously? Which man actually is lying?

Kendra Strikes Again!

Micheal, Seth's brother, enters Emily's office where she bursts his bubble and confronts him about the Modafinil. Seth is covering for his brother who would never have a shot at graduating med school were this to stain his record. There is nothing he could do now as Seth has made his decision. In court, Kendra confronts the arresting officer for his failure to meet arrest quotas for his department. Plus, he also applied unsuccessfully for the Detective Department. Toss a "furtive gesture" and 14 illegal vehicle searches made this year in the mix and the judge has no choice but to dismiss Seth's case. She did it!

Hannah and Mike walk up on an abandoned car and find a severely wounded Agent Dean hidden in the bushes. He's hurt, but he's alive. They get him to safety.

Kirkman Gets His Man

Aaron hands Kirkman more intel and he knows now who to trust. Yes, the chemicals led them on a trail straight to Fayed, but footage of Bahri's compound shows vehicles with Pakistani plates. Radio chatter spoke of "the little one" repeatedly. Bahri planned the attack and pinned it on his adversary. He's been caught red-handed and what does he do? He blames his actions on Americans, but Kirkman strikes back. "You attacked my country," he says, "September 11, 2001." He orders soldiers to take him away.

Julia returns with her annulment paperwork and sits with Emily. She says she's fine with the status quo. What? In what sounds like a horrible story of a trip taken years ago, Julie recalls how literal her husband is and how she would rather him than any other normal guy. Emily still suggests she help him save money by signing the papers. Kendra walks in on Lyor playing a game while on call with someone in various languages. He hasn't signed his papers either. True love comes in all shapes and sizes, I suppose. Seth checks in with Emily who is still upset over his actions. "What am I supposed to do when this lands on my desk?" she asks. He wants her to do the right thing. 

Before Kirkman leaves the base for his trip home, he visits Harry who hands the President a cheesecake and a very sad story of how his wife died three years ago of lung cancer and he wasn't home for his family. His daughter never forgave him, and they haven't spoken in a year. Poor Harry believes he doesn't have a home to go home to, but Kirkman reassures him that he can always go home so he's recommending that he get some leave to return to Philadelphia.


Alright, so not much at all on Alex Kirkman's name now being called into question, involving Eric Little, but we did get to see some great moments of the President in action. Plus, Emily and Seth are an official thing. What should we call them? Emeth? Semily? What did you guys think of this episode? Leave your comments below!

Designated Survivor airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC. Want more? Like our Designated Survivor Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

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